In an office, one morning, Mr. Smith talks with 2 of his coworkers. Mr. Smith, the general manager, asked them why sales of a new product is not growing as expected. One of his coworkers, Bill, answered back "Mr. Smith, the growth can not be expected in a short period. It was just a month since we launched the product. The growth expectation was too big from the beginning." Mr. Smith asked Bill if he has some idea to increase sales. Bill answered that sales would not grow without spending more money for promotion than they did. Mr. Smith did not say anything.
Instead, he turned to the other coworker, Tom to check his opinion. Tom answered "I agree that the sales growth was not as expected." He continued, "We all may need to accept that sales expectation might not be realistic." He concluded that additional promotion would help to improve the situation. Mr. Smith liked Tom's opinion and asked Tom to give him planning for the promotion. One month later, Mr. Smith transferred Bill to another division.
Were not Bill and Tom saying essentially same thing? What was the difference between 2 coworkers talking with their boss? The difference of two is their response style. The style Bill used can be called "disagreement style". He disagreed several points of Mr. Smith. He disagreed that sales are not good. He disagreed that the growth cannot be judged in a short period. He disagreed that growth expectation was not right. At least, Mr. Smith heard his statement as the manner above described.
Let us examine the response from Tom, next. His style can be "agreement style". He agreed that sales are beyond expectation. He agreed that they both made a mistake planning the sales expectation. He agreed that sales promotion would increase the sales. Tom did not have to deny any of Mr. Smith point suggesting his own opinion.
There was a discussion about effective talking in a SNS. One of the participants, who is business consultation presenter, raised his problem that his statements build a wall to the listeners. He uses disagreement style, because he hopes to be constructive to the listeners. He thinks being denial to his listeners can give them new impact and constructive suggestions. The question here is if one needs to be denial or disagreeable to give listeners constructive suggestion. It is more effective to agree and admire some points and open the mind of listeners and give them suggestions. If they were denied, rejected, and disagreed, they feel offended and close their mind. As a result, all one could get from his listeners would be rejections to presenter's points.
3 Suggestions for Effective Communication:
1. Agreement tends to open minds of listeners. Presenter should be prepared for agreeable points of listeners and start from pointing them out.
2. Remember rejection will invite rejection. Presenter should not start from rejections. They should not repeat rejections. They should not stick to rejections.
3. If you need to point negative issue, you may hope to get yourself to be a part of it. Remember Tom said, "We all need to agree that sales expectation was not right."
Remember that even saying the same thing, if one's way of presenting is not right, he will develop opposite reaction from the people.
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